• Getting Some Nuance Up In Your Reproductive Rights: Intersectionality, reproductive justice, and why it matters.
  • Good fic I've read recently:
    • Homework by busaikko and its remix Fieldwork by Rheanna: SGA, gen; respective ratings and length: teen and up (which I think is overly cautious) and general audiences; 963 and 3173 words. "For some reason, after his father's funeral Dave Sheppard keeps getting e-mail from Ronon Dex." // "Ronon starts his e-mail correspondence with Sheppard's brother more or less by mistake." Really nice characterizations, humor and a little low-key angst.
    • Vorkosigan's Day by Philomytha: Vorkosigan series, gen, rated teen and up, warning for graphic depictions of violence, 4580 words. Duv Galeni attends an Academy seminar on illegal orders given by Admiral Lord Aral Vorkosigan, Regent of Barrayar. Should be canon.
  • And because SteelyKid asked for it this morning: Baby foxes playing.

Because I hadn't even been bothering to keep track of the status of the legislation to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"—I just assumed Congress would never get its act together enough and it'd end up in a drawn-out court battle.

I am so very glad to be wrong.

QOTD

Mar. 5th, 2009 07:50 am

From an American Scientist review of a book called Natural Security: A Darwinian Approach to a Dangerous World:

I mainly learned from this volume that evolutionary theory can have a strangely narcotic effect on the brains of otherwise intelligent people, leading them to take quite bizarre positions.

To which my reaction was, "True, but dude, you're only noticing this now?!"

Three quick comments I found interesting:

  • Dahlia Lithwick on the difference between judicial activism and judging; also on how "when your citizens and/or their Legislature are racing around banning and legalizing the same thing at the same time, the will of the people is not necessarily the last word on what's constitutional."
  • Kenji Yoshino on the potential wider legal consequences of the decision. I note that the decision explicitly refused to make immutability a requirement of traits deserving the highest legal protection, as Yoshino argued in Covering.

    (Also, it is amusing to contrast his and Lithwick's characterizations of the way the decision is written.)

  • The Slacktivist considers people who are sincerely opposed to same-sex marriage for religious reasons and wonders "why these friends and brothers and sisters of mine think that such theological arguments can or should be persuasive to those who don't share our religious perspective."

Over in Electrolite's comments, Greg London explains why elections are like a game of Thing [*], making a point I've tried once or twice to express myself, only doing it much much better.

[*] How to play Thing is explained here at Making Light (also look for Teresa Nielsen Hayden's comments further down that thread, at October 11, 2004, 11:27 AM).

(Oh, and the people he was playing Thing and Mafia with, in the example he was giving? Are really smart. Just to clarify.)

In case you were wondering, Dred Scott didn't say "that the Constitution allowed slavery because of personal property rights," when "That's a personal opinion. That's not what the Constitution says."

In 1856 the Constitution said that slavery was legal, as it had from the beginning. Article I, section 2, paragraph 3, excluded slaves from being fully counted in the census (they were counted as "three fifths of all other Persons"), and section 9 provided that Congress couldn't prohibit importing slaves until 1808. Not all of the Constitution's drafters approved of slavery, but they couldn't get the votes to outlaw it, and so it is undisputed by people with, you know, actual brains that prior to the Thirteenth Amendment, slavery was constitutional.

I was going to write up a post on what Dred Scott did say (some cases, I suggest people read if they want to know what they say, but I've read novels shorter than Dred Scott), but Professor Balkin has beaten me to it:

The problem with Dred Scott is that the Court reached out to decide something completely unnecessary, that blacks couldn't ever be citizens, and it also held that in order to treat southern whites equally with northern whites, they had to have the right under the Due Process Clause to bring their property (slaves) into federal territories, which meant that the federal government couldn't ban slavery there.

That last is a reference to the Missouri Compromise, which some of you may remember from high school history.

Okay, two more comments. One, Bush went on to say, "The Constitution of the United States says we're all -- you know, it doesn't say that. It doesn't speak to the equality of America." (My emphasis.) Excuse me?

Two, Paperweight argues that this statement is actually code for "I will appoint judges who will overturn Roe v. Wade." (Via Political Animal.) I wish I could say I was surprised.

I don't usually talk about politics here, because usually anything I think has been said better elsewhere. I wanted to note this down, though, more as a reminder to myself of my state of mind than anything.

Had a bad night last night, basically no sleep, so this may account for part of it—but when Chad told me, shortly after I woke up, that Hussein had reportedly been captured, my first reaction was, "Gee, I wonder how they're going to screw this up."

If it's true, I am glad. But it's a measure of my opinion of Our Nation's Leaders that "I'm glad" was not my first thought. The sad part is, I don't even feel like a nutbar conspiracy theorist for having this reaction. For wondering what kind of proof we'll see and noting the timing (other headline on Washington Post's website: "Iraq Car Bomb Kills 17"), yeah, but overall I just feel tiredly resigned to that they're going to botch this as badly as most other things.

I'm going to go play with the dog, now.

I have been watching the unfolding of the Valerie Plame affair with some interest, not the least because its sudden prominence suggests we should go away for the weekend more often. (If you need background, try Calpundit; start here, for instance, and scroll up.) I think what's most striking about it is:

It really demonstrates just how useful Gollum-speak is.

Good night, everybody . . .

Last week did not start out on an auspicious note. Mostly I've been keeping informed about the major events in Iraq and then trying to put it aside, as something that I can do nothing about just now, but Monday I was unsuccessful. My body was refusing to cooperate with me, and I spent far too much time reading about the looting of museums and the burning of libraries: a veritable lack-of-control positive feedback loop. I know people with chronic illnesses (one with an illness edging toward acute, if one can call it that), and I admire their ability to cope more than ever, because I was doing a remarkably poor job of it last Monday.

As far as the looting of museums and the burning of libraries, multitudes have said it better than I could. Here's two: Teresa Nielsen Hayden at the always-excellent Making Light; and Melymbrosia, in "Sleep for Grief" (Sandman fanfic, though I don't think you need to have read the series to follow it).

Tuesday was better: my body started cooperating, and it was sunny and nearly 80 degrees Fahrenheit (on April 15!). I sat outside and finished Lost in a Good Book over lunch, giggling madly to myself.

And then Wednesday came. With it came Chad's parents to drop off R.D. (for "Ron's Dog")—the cutest puppy ever (even cuter than in this picture) but also a little monster. Puppy Tales )

This week has basically been spent working on a case that's due Tuesday. Unfortunately, it's a case that's driving me nuts on several different levels, the most pertinent of which is that it's due Tuesday. So that's how I spent today, which was perfectly gorgeous: up in my office, working on the papers. (And laundry. Lots of laundry. [To be said in the same tone as, "Guns. Lots of guns." I am looking forward to that.])

To end on a positive note, on Friday Chad found out that he got a research grant. This was actually a re-application, so it was even more of a relief—both for the funding and for the hopefully-improved tenure prospects. We went out for a nice dinner last night to celebrate. And from Wednesday through Friday of this week I'm in New York City for a conference, and I'm looking forward to the meeting; hopefully I'll get to meet up with some friends, too—I've already contacted some, but that reminds me: [livejournal.com profile] pnh, [livejournal.com profile] tnh, [livejournal.com profile] redbird, are any of you around Thursday evening or maybe Thursday lunch? I'll be in the Penn Station area.

Right. Once these papers are off, a better week awaits. Which means I should get back to them . . .

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